Article two in Magazyn Wino

This time, it’s all about jam making—and it’s as much about why we make jam as it is about technique. Editor in Chief Tomek Prange-Barczyński has added a section on pairing fruit conserves with wine and cheese and I’ve included recipes for three of my favorite kinds of preserves (strawberry with a smidge of rhubarb, blackcurrant, sour cherry).

Long-time readers (including and possibly not limited to my mother) will note this is a topic I’ve explored in the past.

I wish I had it in me to say more, but I’m overwhelmed with the big move. Yes, the apartment is nearly done. Yes, it all cost twice as much as I expected and took twice as long to complete. Anker and I have physically moved in, but we are still a long way from being done moving in. I am consumed with order-lust and a perfectionist’s anxious arrival in the reality of something long-coming. All I can do to keep my blog on a lifeline is plop in the pic I finally snapped today and back-date this beast so it looks like I posted something in May.

Now... back to arranging books by both topic and format under the cover of night.

A jubilant début in Magazyn Wino

After a lifetime’s fascination with food (or, one can hope, half a lifetime’s...) and apparently enough food-writing practice on my own blog, I’m delighted to report on my new partnership with Poland’s premier wine culture bimonthly, Magazyn Wino. Working closely with the editors of this eminent publication, I will be creating texts and images celebrating the lesser-known side of simple ingredients and fundamental techniques.

The first story, pictured, delves deep into what most people probably don’t know about potatoes. The next one will take on a full season’s worth of jam making basics (and the ones to follow are still in development).

It’s a big honor and a tremendous learning opportunity—and one hell of a reason for me to raise a glass.

Madness, indeed

Going through my possessions in an effort to further streamline the functional and aesthetic scope of my small family’s belongings, I happened upon what I deem the most random collection of things I could possibly find. I am astonished as to how I might have thought that a complete set of McFarlane’s “Six Faces of Madness” collectible figures would ever be something I actually wanted. Alas, I am the puzzled owner of a mint-condition series of eight-inch-tall toy monsters inspired by classic literature, all in their original, never-opened packaging. If I remember correctly, I got the whole set for twenty bucks each, so for $120, at a store just off Union Square. It was my life’s ultimate impulse buy, and it took place on the eve of the day I left the U.S. for good, which means I bought these things on July 2, 2004. I recall the figures just barely fitting into my luggage (two giant DDB-branded portfolio carriers I lifted from my corporate alma mater).

So now I have this interesting problem, which is how to unload this odd collection and at least get my money back—or ourtight make a profit, given how this kind of limited-edition drivel sometimes appreciates. The challenges: I’m not on eBay, I’m not interested in getting on eBay, ditto for the Polish counterpart Allegro, I don’t know the gaming scene, and I’m in no position to make a quick deal with some reseller of memorabilia at a shop near Union Square.

Any takers out there? Best offer wins.

Product photography by the author, accomplished in daylight with the infallible Leica X1 in mid-February 2016.

Scenes from a renovation

With the first Warsaw snow came the first signs of quiet order at the construction site that is a family’s metamorphic home. Now the turnpikes of electric wire are forgotten under walls that are smooth and white. Now six different versions of grey glass mosaic tiles are no longer lost in transit on their way from Spain but painstakingly affixed to a dozen and a half planes of shower and bathroom surface. Now the men are familiar and trusted as they come and go to replace the windows and wheel in the supplies and do plastering and lay six kinds of tiny grey tiles.

All photos by Natalia Osiatynska, taken in daylight with the Leica X1 on the 17th, 12th or 10th of January, 2016.